May is the month that we honor our beloved elders who have contributed so much to our society. We also give thanks to the many caretakers who have given so selflessly of their own time, money, and efforts. Therefore, I recommend two books that address such topics:
THE CAREGIVER’S SURVIVAL HANDBOOK: CARING FOR YOUR AGING PARENTS WITHOUT LOSING YOURSELF, by Alexis Abramson
More than 40 million adult children find themselves caring for their elders while trying to carry on with their own lives. This supportive guidebook helps caregivers look after aging loved ones, provide for family members, and attend to their careers while keeping their own lives intact. Abramson addresses the issues of getting all family members to pitch in, avoiding conflict with the aging loved one while fostering that person’s independence, letting go of guilt, and balancing the demands on one’s own time and resources.
BARBARA BUSH’S PEARLS OF WISDOM: LITTLE PIECES OF ADVICE THAT GO A LONG WAY, edited by Jean Becker
When an attendee at First Lady Barbara Bush’s talk at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in 1991 why she didn’t dye her hair, her response was, “I like it this way,” and I’ve loved her ever since. This book, an instant New York Times bestseller, is a collection of her best advice to everyone from family to Supreme Court Justices about what to wear, what to say and how to live your life.
Why was she such an expert? As she said, “In 80 years of living, I have survived six children, 17 grandchildren, six wars, a book by Kitty Kelley, two presidents, two governors, big Election Day wins and losses, and 61 years of marriage to a husband who keeps jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. So, it’s just possible that along the way, I’ve learned a thing or two.” Editor Jean Becker carefully curated Mrs. Bush’s words of wisdom and all proceeds from the book are donated to the Literacy Foundation.
As America faces its current pandemic, is it any wonder that I cried while reading the advice she offered citizens following 9/11: “The best thing we can do right now is get back to some sense of normalcy, to get back to the business of living our lives. It’s what’s best for each of us personally, and it’s what’s best for the country.”